The Cleveland Cavaliers were playing a nationally televised game in the entertainment capital on Saturday night and got absolutely smoked 108-78 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Why? Because Tyronn Lue deemed it necessary to rest both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
With LeBron, Kyrie, and even Kyle Korver (coach’s decision) not playing the leading scorer ended up being Richard Jefferson with a grand total of 12 points. Granted a majority of sports fans had their eyes locked on March Madness action all evening, commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA were concerned with the approach Cleveland took towards the ABC aired game.
Cavs GM David Griffin was quick to defend the decision. He referred to Thursday night’s game against Utah when Irving had to leave the game with knee soreness. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
LeBron wasn’t necessarily happy about the decision, but he didn’t make a fuss about it and respected the move. He was seen being rather social on the sidelines with the fans during the game. Why not?
ABC sideline reporter, Lisa Salters, did actually ask Griffin about the approach and what it meant to the fans. Griffin gave her an honest answer and said, “We’re very sensitive to the fact that from a fan’s standpoint it hurts. But it’s the right thing for us.”
The Cavs aren’t necessarily locked into the Eastern Conference one seed right now as they only lead the Boston Celtics by two games. So really, each game does truly matter if the Cavs view the overall one seed as a crucial key, which it should.
Griffin and Co. aren’t too worried about it and plan to fasten their seat belts down the stretch as they are aiming for their second straight championship.
Later on in the interview, Griffin said “We’ve had so many guys in and out of the lineup, we just want to be as whole as we can be. We’ve got a responsibility to our fans over the last 15 games to start to find our way a little bit.”
Look for the Cavs to try and get hot at the exact right time down the stretch!